§ 5. Mr. Cronin
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the United States and French Governments on matters of mutual concern following Mr. Brezhnev's recent visits to them.
§ 21. Mr. Sproat
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with President Nixon and President Pompidou about matters of mutual concern following the recent visits of Mr. Brezhnev to Washington and Paris.
§ Mr. Cronin
Will the right hon. Gentleman reassure the House that he is satisfied that no arrangements were made between President Nixon and Mr. Brezhnev that will be prejudicial to the security of Europe? With regard to the French visit, will the right hon. Gentleman say whether Mr. Brezhnev has had an invitation to visit London, or is it the policy of his Department that President Pompidou should be the spokesman for Europe?
§ Mr. Amery
The answer to the first part of the hon. Gentleman's question is that to the best of my knowledge that is the case. Mr. Brezhnev would always be welcome in this country. Mr. Gromyko and Mr. Kirillin have been here. Diplomatically, the ball is in the Soviet court, but we do not attach undue 510 importance to protocol in these matters. The way is open for reciprocal visits by one side or the other at any time that the Soviet Union is willing to make one.
§ Mr. Sproat
Does not my right hon. Friend agree that these visits increase the need for the closest co-ordination of Western tactics in dealing with the Soviet Union at the CESC talks at Helsinki? Does he not also agree that one of the best results to come out of Helsinki has been the unity of attitude between the Nine and NATO?
§ Mr. Allaun
Was not that a remarkably evasive reply by the Minister? Surely the right hon. Gentleman does not expect Mr. Brezhnev or anybody else to come here without an invitation. Why is it that America, France and Germany can do it, and we cannot?
§ Mr. Amery
I hope that the hon. Gentleman will not feel jealous about this. There are good reasons why the two super Powers should talk among themselves. We very much welcomed the visit of reconciliation marked by Mr. Brezhnev's visiting Bonn, and the relationship between France and Russia goes back to well before the First World War. I was merely saying that in ordinary diplomatic terms it is their turn to ask us. We have had two of their senior Ministers in this country, but we should not stand on protocol in these matters. There is close contact between the two Governments in both London and Moscow. At the appropriate moment I am sure that a visit could be arranged. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister made a very positive intervention about the matter during a recent speech of the right hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan).